Sustainable Food Cities Network

The Sustainable Food Cities Network is a partnership project, led by the Soil Association, with Food Matters and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, that brings together public, private and third-sector organisations that believe in the power of food as a vehicle for driving positive change and that are committed to promoting healthy and sustainable food for the benefit of people and the planet. It is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The first phase (2013 – 2016) involved supporting six cities (Belfast, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle and Stockport) to become exemplar models of what a place can do to increase local, affordable and sustainable food. These cities became the founding members of a network which has now grown to nearly fifty members. Now in the second phase (2016 – 2019), the aim is to help places that have already achieved SFC programmes to achieve their full potential. We are doing this by: supporting network members to achieve bronze, silver and gold Sustainable Food City awards; engaging members in national campaigns e.g. Sugar Smart and Sustainable Fish Cities and strengthening and building capacity within the Network.

Food Matters’ knowledge and experience of food partnership and strategy development has played a key role in supporting cities to navigate their way through the development process by providing, mentoring and strategic planning, event facilitation, expert guidance and networking support as well as writing resources. We are now developing a life stage approach to tailor our support to where a place is at.

“Cities are in the forefront of a good food movement, driven by a new alliance between municipal activism and civil society engagement, and they have formed a good food coalition under the auspices of the Sustainable Food Cities Network to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.”
– From Good Food for All – a paper by Professor Kevin Morgan presented to Welsh Government, 2015

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